force to suggest press laws coming The
Himalayan Times (December 9, 2002)
right in SAARC discussed The
Rising Nepal, July 22, 2002)
policy dead failure The
Kathmandu Post (May 8, 2002)
Pundits misread me: Acharya
Times (March 15, 2002)
issues discussed <Top>
KATHMANDU, Dec. 21: Tribhuvan
University, Central Department of Political Science organised
an interaction programme on, "Constitutional crisis and
its resolution" here today.
Taking part in the programme,
Nepali Congress spokesman Arjun Narsingh K.C. said the issue
of Constituent Assembly is democratic and it is not against
the principle of the Nepali Congress or democracy, however,
in present circumstances the Nepali Congress does not see
any relevance of it.
Emphasising the need to restore the House of Representatives
in order to bring back the present Constitution into its original
state, KC said as the Maoists have laid off their demand for
republic a political resolution should be looked for to bring
them into the democratic process.
Nepali Congress central member
Narahari Acharya expressed the view that in case of a consensus
among the democrats, Monarch and the Maoists, we should go
for the Constituent Assembly for safeguarding the achievement
of the 1990 Popular Movement, multiparty culture, the sovereignty
of the people and the country.
CPN-UML central member Bhim
Rawal said for the interest of democracy impartial elections
should be held following joint work and dialogue between His
Majesty the King and political parties.
Stating that the Maoists have not guaranteed whether they
would recognise the Constitution coming out of the Constituent
Assembly, whether they would lay down their arms, Rawal expressed
the view that a new constitution may lead to an adverse situation
by doing away with the rights of the people.
Prof. Shyam Kishore Singh questioned why should we not go
for the Constituent Assembly if it resolves the existing problem,
however, there is no real ground that the Constituent Assembly
would resolve all the problem.
Sarita Giri of Nepal Sadvawana
Party, Prof. Krishna Khanal and Prof. Anantaraj Poudel pointed
out the need for a national consensus in order to resolve
Chief of the T.U. Department
of Political Science Mohammed Habibullah presided.
Source: The Rising Nepal (December
off between king, parties dangerous, warns Speaker
KATHMANDU, Dec 17 Speaker Taranath
Ranabhat today warned the king and the political parties that
the ongoing conflict between them could be "dangerous"
to the country. Hence, he called them to stand united to resist
the force of "republic seekers".
"The king and the constitutional
forces should unite together to fight against the republicans
in the country," the Speaker said. "But they are
standing apart, which is very dangerous for the nation."
A new political polarisation
has cropped up in the country in the aftermath of October
4 royal proclamation, which is not good for the country, he
said here today while addressing a workshop on "Management
of Conflicts in Nepal", organised by Centre for Study
on Good Governance and Democracy (CSGD).
He was critical of the ongoing
military action against the Maoists in a bid to restore peace.
"It is not the solution to solve the Maoist problem in
the country, its solution should be sought politically,"
the Speaker said.
He pledged the king and the
political parties to co-work to find a way out of the present
crisis in the country, so as to discourage Maoists, even as
he stressed on making the constitution active, effective and
The general secretary of Communist
Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist, Madhav Kumar
Nepal underlined the need to apply conflict resolution practices
used in other countries to resolve political, social and economic
conflicts in the country. He urged the civil society and political
parties to look for remedies for ongoing conflicts in the
"The solutions of conflicts
should be searched within poverty, inequality and discrimination
in our society, since these are the root causes of conflicts,"
The newly elected chairman
of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Pashupati Shumsher Rana suggested
the need to analyse conflicts scientifically, while reiterating
his partys commitment to consensus among political parties,
and then for agreement between the king and the political
Source: The Kathmandu Post
(December 18, 2002)
Note: The seminar was supported
by FES Nepal.
Concept to reality but still a long way to go <Top>
KATHMANDU, Dec 11, SAARC has
provided a platform to build a strong edifice of regional
co-operation by creating a regional identity and by forging
a common position on many international issues, said Minister
for Foreign Affairs Narendra Bikram Shah on Wednesday.
"This is no small achievement
given the background and undercurrents of the region,"
said Shah, speaking at a seminar on the "Follow-up of
the 11th SAARC Summit" organised here today by the Institute
of Foreign Affairs in co-operation with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
However, he admitted that enough
was not done. "We accept that in todays fast globalising
world, this is not enough. Our potentials stand in a visible,
palpable and stark contrast to the actual level of co-operation,"
pointed out Shah.
The minister noted that SAARC
has grown from a concept to a regional reality. He suggested
looking beyond the immediate present and set a far-reaching
vision to uplift the status of the people of the region. Shah
also called for effective implementation of the commitments,
an aspect pointed out by experts as one of the big failures
of the regional bloc. "Effective implementation SAARC
decisions is the test of our commitment to and faith in the
Commenting on the just postponed
12th SAARC Summit that was to be held in Islamabad in January
next year, Minister Shah expressed the hope that the Summit
would be held soon. "South Asia needs to be on the fast
track of regional co-operation because there is no alternative
Three papers were presented
during the seminar on the follow-up of the 11th SAARC Summit
held in Kathmandu in January this year.
In his paper on economic co-operation
in South Asia, Professor Gunanidhi Sharma said that although
the agenda of economic co-operation got approved, the speed
of co-operation "is very slow for the absence of good
faith, and also for the dominant profit motive among the economically
superior members, mainly India".
Noting that there was hardly
any possibility of political co-operation among members, Prof
Sharma pointed out that even the economic co-operation was
eclipsed by bilateral treaties between members and the "conservative
but the discriminatory outlook of the Indian bureaucracy which
...always ties up non-economic security issues with economic
He also pointed out lack of
institutional support for effective implementation to realise
economic objects, adding that the scheme was not in favour
of least developed countries.
Sharma suggested declaration
of SAARC as a visa free zone for the citizens in the region,
convertibility of the currencies of member states and establishment
of regional-level institutions of insurance, export financing
and stock exchange.
Dr Mohan Lohani, in his paper
on assessment of the 11th Summit Declaration and effective
implementation, said that the challenge before the 12th Summit
in Islamabad next month was to "critically review and
provide the needed impetus for the effective implementation
of decisions and programmes of action approved during previous
Another paper, on poverty alleviation
and SAARC Social Charter, by Prof Bishwa Keshar Maskay, called
for the enhancement of legislative power of the people for
evolving institutional management rules, monitoring compliance,
and enforcing sanctions to make the whole development process
Source: The Kathmandu Post
(December 12, 2002)
force to suggest press laws coming <Top>
Kathmandu, December 8, Minister
for information and communications Rameshnath Pandey today
said that the government is going to form a new 'task force'
within this week to introduce the necessary laws related to
the journalism and press.
Speaking at an interaction
on 'Democracy and Press: challenges' organised by Federation
of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) and supported by Friedrich Ebert
Stiftung (FES), Pandey said that the committee would comprise
senior journalists, 'proleterate journalists', media professionals
and representatives from different press-related organisations.
He further noted, The
committee will study the reports related to media which were
submitted before and itself conduct study. After that, it
will tender the conclusive report to the government and the
government will immediately implement the suggestions.
Most of the previous
reports didn't get their way because of the financial constraint,
but the government is doing its homework to allocate budget
for the implementation of the particular report, added
Reitering his commitment that
the government wouldn't curtail press freedom, minister Pander
stated, Nobody can curtail press freedom as our constitution
is one of the best constitutions regarding press freedom.
Chairman of Nepal Press Council,
Harihar Birahi, said that negligence of the concerned bodies
to make laws regarding 'right to information' has made us
suspicious of their intention.
He said: Truth cannot
not be concealed just by obstructing press freedom.
Parashuram Kharel, media advisor
of FES, said that the government should not provide cross-media
licence for any organisation since it kills the spirit of
It is sorrowful to say
that neither the government is creating favourable environment
for the press to use complete press freedom nor the press
itself is using the Working Journalist Act. It
could not go as per the spirit of 'code of conduct',
Chairman of Editors' Society
Nepal Govinda Biyogi said that the press had a crucial role
to restore democracy, however, it could not utilise democracy.
Though 'entire press' could not foster as expected within
the 12 years of democratic period, it is again high time journalists
o safeguarded the 'paralised democracy', he said.
President of FNJ, Taranath
Dahal, expressed doubts over the commitment of the minister
adding, The commitment is needed to materialise.
The journalists were
suspicious about press freedom when the State of Emergency
declared and the political
scenario after royal proclamation on October 4 has added fuel
to our suspicion.
Yubaraj Ghimire, editor of
Kantipur daily, said that the introduction of laws regarding
'right to information' would be meaningless until and unless
the laws regarding 'right to access to information' is introduced.
Source: The Himalayan Times
(December 9, 2002)
Journalists Act: Hardly working <Top>
Lalitpur, December 7, The Working
Journalists' Act, 2051, which has been blamed to have several
flaws, is picking dust in officialdom. The Act, along with
necessary regulations, was formulated to protect and enhance
professional rights of the journalists working in both government
and private, print and electronic media.
"There are no practical
difficulties in implementing the Act," said Tara Nath
Dahal, president of the Federation of of Nepalese Journalists.
"The journalists will go for struggle in order to get
the Act implemented," he warned.
He was speaking at a seminar
on 'Working Journalists' Act and Regulation in terms of its
implementation' organised by the Nepal Press Union with support
from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Dahal said that the concerned
authority including publishers are not committed in implementing
the Act. It has deprived more than 2,500 working journalists
of their rights.
Clause 3 of the Act states
that the administration of the publication houses should specify
a working journalist's designation, rights and duties before
registering it to the press registrar. But no press registrar
has been nominated so far, Dahal said.
"Where can we implement
the existing law without the concerned body for implementing
it?" Journalists queried. "Moreover, the journalists
are also not appointed according to the Act in private organisations;
instead they are suppose to work on contract basis that has
weaken the working journalists' efforts for their rights,"
According to the Act, a working
journalist is one who works full or part-time in any publication
and not the one who is affiliated with the administration
of any paper. This has created a confusion for defining publisher
Similarly, in 2053, the government
had formed a committee to fix a minimum remuneration and compensation
for the working journalists. The committee had also suggested
the minimum salary for a working journalist. However, it has
remained just as a mere paper work.
Also, the working journalists
have not been able to unify them institutionally. No particular
organisation of working journalists has been established except
the organisations like the Federation of Nepali Journalists
and Nepal Press Union.
"The press should not
be motivated to making money alone; the journalists should
have an environment to work professionally," said Kul
Chandra Wagle, president of the NPU. He added, "Now the
journalists are working as intellectual labourer."
"It has been six years
since the Working Journalists' Act has been enforced but nothing
significant has happened," said P Kharel, a senior journalist.
He queried, "How can one fight for the voiceless people,
who can't raise their own voice?"
Similarly, Harihar Birahi,
chairman of the Press Council Nepal, said, "The rights
can't be gained by asking." "We should go for struggle,"
Source: The Himalayan
Times (December 8, 2002)
on broadcasting council for FM stations <Top>
KATHMANDU, Oct 10. Media being
an effective tool to convey messages, a seminar on the formation
of a Broadcasting Council for FM stations was organised by
the Society of Independent Journalists with the support of
FES here today.
Highlighting the current scenario
of FM broadcasting, Narendra Oli of Classic FM, said there
are 24 FM stations operating in Nepal and another 24 stations
waiting for licence clearance. With 40 working radio jockeys
(RJs) and allied radio personnel involved with FM radio, he
felt that a Broadcasting Council was necessary in the future.
"The objective of the seminar is to bring about certain
guidelines in the future," he adds.
Chief guest, Keshar Jung Rayamajhi,
Chairman of Raj Parishad Standing Committee said that the
present time is the age of technological revolution and media
has an important role to play.
Speaking at the seminar, journalist
P.Kharel said that running 24 FM stations does not necessarily
mean freedom of press. He pointed out many loopholes like
FM stations not having formal news bulletin, follow the dictates
of Radio Nepal, and difficulty in obtaining press passes and
many other restrictions from the Ministry of Communications.
"FM is said to be comprised
mainly of youth but the participation by females is still
less," said Bandana Rana, President of Sancharika Samuha.
She raised questions on FM operation and functioning, saying
that quality was more important than quantity, and whether
it was possible to bring about development without gender
equality from the planning stages.
The seminar was followed by
a discussion among the FM Station managers, media personnel
and representatives from the FM stations. According to the
station managers, a broadcasting council would
benefit the FM stations in a wider aspect, provide freedom
to air news and act as a control measure in the future.
Source: The Kathmandu Post
(October 11, 2002)
factors blamed for failure of privatisation <Top>
KATHMANDU, Oct 6: Owing to non-economic factors, privatisation
in Nepal has failed to meet its objectives, said economic
experts at an interaction in Kathmandu Sunday.
Theoretically, there should
be economic reasons for the success or failure of any economic
programmes, but in the Nepalese context, they said, it was
mainly the political factors that contributed to the failure
of the privatisation.
They viewed lack of clear-cut
policy, accountability and honesty are some of other key reasons
behind the failed privatisation."
Reforms in policy and management
are needed for a successful privatisation, they agreed at
a function jointly organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
(FES) and the Nepal Forum for Human Rights and Development
President of NFHRD Subash Pokharel,
presenting a paper on 'privatisation in Nepal' said that the
nation witnessed a de-industrialisation process after the
nation blindly embaraced the privatisation policy following
the restoration of the multi-party democracy.
"Privatisation in Nepal
has been a complete failure because there was lack of fair
practice and investment while transferring the management
of the industries to the private sector, Pokharel said.
He said that the all industries
which had gone into privatisation were now in loss.
In the paper he pointed out
that open border, dependency on India, inconsistent industrial
and custom policy have contributed to slacken the country's
"Privatisation cannot be a panacea to all sick industries,"
The government must evaluate
the conditions of the industries after they had been privatised,
Referring to the Harisiddhi
Brick and Tile Factory, he said that the factory, prior to
privatisation, sold 1000 bricks at Rs 250. The factory charges
Rs 3,600 for the same number of bricks after it was privatised.
"But the factory is still in loss." There is no
need to privatize those factories which are in profit, he
Prior to the privatisation,
there should be a real evaluation of assets and shares of
In the changed global context,
the country should adopt the privatisation but there must
be clear objectives as to why the privatisation is necessary.
"Is it for the interest of the country or for the interest
of the certain group, when even the privately owned industries
are running in losses?" he asked.
From the chair, Prof. Guna
Nidhi Sharma said that Nepal must keep its social and cultural
milieu while privatising its industries.
In the Nepalese context, the
governments blindly adopted the privatisation policy to attract
aid from the Western countries.
Source: The Rising Nepal (October
knack must for journalists <Top>
KATHMANDU, Oct. 5: Professionalism
is an essential pre-requisite for the institutionalisation
of a free press, said media experts at a programme in the
Although the Constitution of
Nepal has provisioned the right to press freedom, journalists
are unable to fully enjoy it in practice, they commented.
Press freedom in the country is constitutionally strong
but institutionally weak, said Shriram Singh Basnet.
Basnet, a media expert, told
this while presenting his working paper on Condition
of Nepalese Journalists and their challenges in Nepal
at a programme organised by Nepal Press Union (NPU).
The condition of working journalists
in Nepal is miserable. They are financially weak and have
no social security, Basnet added.
Commenting on the Working Journalist Act (WJA)-2051, he said
that it was not very effective. The act is unable to address
the working journalists problems. It should be able
to include journalists from the electronic media, which the
act has failed to do so far, he said.
The act has drawn a line between journalists working for the
private and government media. A journalist is a journalist.
They should not be differentiated, he added.
Talking about the journalists
access to information, he said that a provision about the
duty to inform should also be incorporated. The
constitution has provisioned the right to information, but
it is not implemented effectively. He also commented that
Nepalese media lacked a journalistic culture.
Journalists Purushottam Dahal, Govinda Adhikari, Suman Dahal,
Bed Prakash Kharel, Meena Subedi, Lila Raj Khanal and Shreesh
Pradhan had commented on Basnets working paper.
Media adviser of Friedrich
Ebert Stiftung (FES), which supported the seminar Media
professionalism and working journalists, P. Kharel stated
that all journalists should avoid political biases for the
promotion of professionalism in journalism.
President of Nepal Press Union
(NPU) Kul Chandra Wagle stressed on the role of the free press
in strengthening democratic traditions and in enhancing professionalism.
Journalists should show courage to disseminate information
in a free and fair manner, he said.
Senior journalist and president
of Press Council Nepal Harihar Birahi said that journalists
should be ready to face any adverse situation in the country.
Federation of Nepalese Journalists president Taranath Dahal
stressed on professionalism as an essential quality of a journalist.
Former NPU President Tara Baral,
journalist Sri Acharya, NPU general secretary Tarun Paudel
and Rastriya Samachar Samitis General Manager Purushottam
Dahal also spoke on the occasion.
Source: The Rising Nepal
(October 6, 2002)
failure alleged for current crisis <Top>
KATHMANDU, Oct 3: If the country's
politicians and other responsible authorities fail to take
a "historic and bold decision to rescue the nation from
the existing volatile situation in two or three months"
it will fall into a crisis, said sociologists, economists
and development activists. They said that the country was
passing through a hard time and that everybody should think
about the nation's very existence. The cost of any mistake
committed by the government or any political party at this
critical juncture will be very high, they added.
They also noted that lack of
accountability at the decision making level and mounting corruption
were the root cause of the social anomalies and people's frustration
after the establishment of multiparty system in 1990. The
domino effect of the unequal distribution of the national
resources has pushed the nation into today's vulnerable condition,
they said Unless the problem of unequal distribution of the
nation's resources is solved, the problem will be more intense,
said Dev Raj Dahal a sociologist.
Speaking at a programme on
"Achieving Accountable Governance in Nepal" organised
by the Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) Dahal
underlined the need to address the main problem of social
unrest and people's frustrations. The Maoist problem is the
cumulative effect of the people's frustration that emerged
due to the failure of governance, he added.
He further said that people
at the decision making level should also be made accountable
for the failure of any decision. Besides, there should an
effective legal instrument to penalize the corrupt authorities
at the decision-making level. The real problems of the majority
of the people living in the rural areas should be addressed
said Prof. Guna Nidhi Sharma. Speaking in a similar vain development
expert Shirish Rana underlined the need for equal participation
of the people in the development activities.
Presenting a working paper
on "Public Policy making in Nepal, public administration
expert Dr. Hiramani Ghimire said that the policy making in
a multi-centric state is a difficult exercise that needs to
take into account the expectations and interests of different
socio- political and economic power groups. The soundness
of policies needs to be judged by their efficacy in meeting
the socio-economic objectives, he said.
Another working paper presentator
Bihari Krishna Shrestha, sociologist said that the political
leaders and concerned authorities should take a 'historic
and bold' decision to rescue the country from turmoil.
He also underlined the need
for effective governance for conflict resolution at the moment.
Anada Shrestha, executive director of NEFAS said that accountable
governance requires a strong political commitment as well
as dedicated and competent leadership. The elections are not
going to solve the people's problems if political leaders
are not serious about the people and the nation. The programme
was organized with the assistance of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
Source: The Rising Nepal (October
urges govt to withdraw decisions
KATHMANDU, Aug 9:Nepal Trade
Union Congress (NTUC) today flayed the governments decision
to impose tax on labourers provident fund and
gratuity and called upon the government to withdraw its decisions.
A press statement issued after
NTUCs two-day general meeting said the government decision
to impose new taxes on the labourers has suffered the low-income
NTUC also flayed the governments
ignorance to ILOs request to lift the Essential Services
Maintenance Act (ESMA) imposed upon hotel labourers last year
to curb their protest programme.
NTUC also demanded to fix minimum
salary for the labourers, which it claimed, was static for
many years. " Salary of the government employees have
been increased significantly but the labourers salary
is unchanged for years," the press statement said.
NTUC, which owes allegiance
to Koirala-led Nepali Congress, has also criticised Prime
Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba for pushing the country to the
elections at a difficult time. NTUC flayed Prime Minister
Deubas move to declare himself a party president as
ridiculous and pledged to back Koirala strongly.
It also flayed the state of
emergency claiming it has targeted a large number of innocent
democratic activists and teachers. "More than 22 teachers
belonging to the Nepal Teachers Association alone have
been killed after the emergency was imposed eight months ago,"
the NTUC press statement claimed.
NTUC also expressed suspicions
over the freedom and fairness of the upcoming elections accusing
the government of massively misusing the government resources
for partisan use.
Source: The Kathmandu Post
(August 10, 2002)
call for protection of press freedom <Top>
KATHMANDU, July 26:The press
has become the second largest target of the security forces
under the emergency rule despite the governments assurance
last November although the emergency was stated to have been
imposed solely to contain Maoist terrorism.
This was the consensus which
emerged during a day-long seminar on emergency and press freedom
organised on Friday by the Nepal National committee of the
International Press Institute (IPI) and supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Later, the IPI and the participants
at the seminar decided to appeal to the government to shorten
the term of the emergency. The participants also called upon
the government to declare the whereabouts of the arrested
and killed journalists and called for adherence to rule of
law and transparency in such cases.
A paper presented by senior
journalist Ram Krishna Regmi said the situation was very grave
and could become worse if the emergency lingered. The paper
also pointed out that there was palpable confusion in the
countrys media as to the limits imposed on it and the
kind of news it was expected to publish or not.
Responding to the paper, the
participants said that while some hard-hitting news related
to the Maoists and the army had escaped any government action,
some innocuous-looking news has resulted in the arrest and
harassment of the journalists. They called for clear guidelines
on the issue. Some of the journalists working outside Kathmandu
narrated their tale of harassment by the security forces.
However, most of the speakers, instead of dealing with the
topic, veered towards the reasons on why the emergency was
imposed in the country.
The seminar was held so as
to formulate some guidelines to ensure the freedom of the
press, said Hemraj Gyawali, Chairman of Kantipur Publications
and an advisor of the IPI, Nepal Chapter. "We will meet
the Prime Minister and apprise him of the issues related to
the freedom of the press. If any journalist has to be taken
into custody, it should not be done in the middle of the night.
Rather we will urge the government to issue arrest slip if
at all it has to resort to such a measure," said Gyawali
at the end of the interaction today.
The IPI advisor added that
transparency and the respect for human rights must be ensured
during any government action against the press. Earlier, highlighting
the role of the IPI, Nepal, Gyawali said that its task was
to ensure the rights of the press. He also praised the role
of the IPI Nepal National Committee when the editor of Kantipur
and the Managing Director and the Director of the Publications
were arrested by the government in June last year.
While commenting on the paper,
Sushil Sharma, the BBC correspondent in Nepal, said that there
was unpredictable situation in the country under the emergency
as far as the media was concerned. He said that the journalists
in Nepal were facing difficulty in carrying out their tasks.
However, he called upon the media to be responsible towards
their job but dismissed the suggestion that the journalists
have "two roles". "Journalists have only one
role. Otherwise, our moral force will be dented and we should
not be guided by government guidelines," said Sharma.
He questioned whether the media should toe the government
line in branding the Maoists as terrorists and change the
term in future if the government ceases to call them so.
Chairman of the National Human
Rights Commission (NHRC), Nayan Bahadur Khatri, said that
press was the standard bearer of democracy and even the independence
of the judiciary hinged on the independence of the press.
He admitted that the NHRC had received complaints that the
journalists reporting on the Maoist-related news have been
Pushkar Lal Shrestha, Chairperson
of the IPI said that media was biased vis-à-vis political
parties. He also called for making a distinction between the
"genuine" journalists and the ones who are guided
by other interests but operating in the guise of journalists.
Shrestha revealed that four senior journalists were visiting
Nepal on September 8 to have a first-hand experience of victimisation
of the media in Nepal.
Source: The Kathmandu Post,
July 27, 2002
right in SAARC discussed <Top>
KATHMANDU, July 21: Nepalese
trade unionists and development experts have questioned the
reluctance of the South Asian leaders to provide legitimate
space to worker's rights in the SAARC Social Charter.
Though most of the member countries
in the SAARC region have already endorsed the labour standards
of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and incorporated
human rights provisions both in their constitutions and public
policies, they have not given importance to the workers in
the region, participants said at a seminar on Sunday.
Expressing concern over various
labour-related issues in South Asia, they pointed out the
need to raise common voice to protect the interest of South
Asian workers in the international labour market.
Big nations of the SAARC --
India and Pakistan -- should pay an active role to protect
the interest of South Asian workers, said Hiranya Lal Shrestha,
a foreign relations expert.
Speaking at a national seminar
on "Workers' Rights in SAARC Social Charter," organized
by Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) in cooperation
with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Shrestha said that Nepalese
workers should not be allowed to be replaced by foreign ones.
Referring to the government's
foreign employment scheme in the budget estimates for the
year 2002-2003, Shrestha said, "Such practice of sending
Nepalese workers could drain the national market of skilled
workers. It cannot be a long-term solution to Nepal's unemployment
Shrestha, who is also a leader
of the CPN-UML, further said, "The culture of respecting
labour should be encouraged to establish the rights of workers.
Besides, the change should take place in practice, not on
paper." Multinational companies operating in South Asia
should be made to follow labour laws, he said.
He also noted that inclusion
of the worker's rights in the SAARC Social Charter would help
promote the interest of workers in the region.
Prof. Guna Nidhi Sharma emphasized
the need to protect the interest of workers in the informal
sector as well. "Workers should be given social protection
for better domestic labour force should be given priority
in the workplace."
General Secretary of the General
Federation of National Trade Unions (GEFONT) Bishnu Rimal
blamed the SAARC leaders for undermining the problem of workers.
"The voice of the worker has never been heard, and politics
has always dominated labour issues." Only a united voice
of the SAARC countries can protect the rights of workers in
Dr. Posh Raj Pandey, a WTO
expert, said that the labour issues should be tackled before
joining the WTO.
Ananda Shrestha, executive
director of NEFAS, said that the proposed social charter for
the SAARC purports to establish a social foundation from which
the people of the region have a regionable chance of seizing
that opportunity for a dignified life, liberty, equity, health
facility, primary education and basic infrastructure for development.
Earlier, development experts
Dev Raj Dahal and Hari Uprety presented their working paper
on "Worker' Rights in the SAARC Social Charter."
While presenting their paper
they pointed out the need to work for social agenda. Given
the backwardness in technology, the lack of capital and the
abundance in human resources, South Asia will need to strike
that strategic balance between capital and labour in regional
Source: The Rising Nepal
(July 22, 2002)
A voice has been raised to include
worker's rights in the SAARC social charter -- a point
that cannot be wished away. Besides the vast natural
endowment, South Asia is rich in human resource. And,
it is in the interest of the huge population of the
region that the rights of the workers are clearly
defined and protected by the governments concerned.
How much the inclusion of these rights in the charter
will actually improve the status of workers is another
question, but the decision to draw up SAARC Social
Charter was taken some 12 years back during the Colombo
summit of the organization. The Social charter became
necessary because a great lot needed to be achieved
in the areas of poverty eradication, population stabilization,
empowerment of women, youth mobilization, human resource
development, promotion of health, and nutrition and
protection of the children. Concerned at the trafficking
of women and children within the region, the SAARC
member states signed a regional convention to combat
trafficking of women and children for prostitution
on January 2002 at the Eleventh Summit held in Kathmandu.
Also concluded was the convention on regional arrangements
on the promotion of child welfare in South Asia which
seeds to set up the appropriate mechanisms to help
member states fulfill their obligations to the child
in the changed context.
Years after the decision to formulate
the charter it has yet to take a concrete shape. The
charter can not only be tool to understand the full
measure of the complexities, but also to devise a
coherent and practical strategy to address the problem
common in the SAARC countries. An institutional framework
that formulates, coordinates and monitors the objectives
set by the Social Charter is also another point that
deserves a serious though. Without a strong and functional
institution, the agendas of charter might just remain
on papers, only to be resurrected during NGO conferences
and SAARC summits. One is afraid this trend has to
be naturalized by plausible actions. In the past,
the summits have been postponed or canceled due to
rifts between member states and at times the summit
agendas have been allowed to get overshadowed by the
issues directly concerning them. SAARC, being an association
for regional cooperation, can not remain eclipsed
with issues other than the ones that are likely to
pave the way for meaningful cooperation in South Asia.
A strong social commitment can be a very effective
means to build cooperation. Similarly, a social charter
that addresses all the relevant issues of the countries
in the region its, therefore, indispensable as it
has the promise to bring about the right kind of changes
that are required to transform the lives and attitudes
of all South Asians.
Source: Editorial, The Himalayan
Times (July 23, 2002)
must to strengthen democracy, say political analysts
Kathmandu, June 10. All political
parties should unite in the goal for inclusive democracy,
during the current time period when the country is going through
such political upheaval, said Professor Krishna Khanal, whilst
stressing "There is a crucial need for amendment to the
constitution to ensure participatory democracy in the country."
Khan gave his presentation
on 'Current political crisis and amendment process' at an
interaction on "Participatory Democracy" that was
organized by Nepal Centre for Contemporary Studies here on
Monday, where participants emphasized the need for the empowerment
of common people.
"Though there have been
various amendments to the constitution, there is still a need
for qualitative improvement," said Daman Nath Dhungana,
former speaker of the House of Representatives.
"The constitution should
include problems of ethnic minorities and address issues such
as women empowerment."
"The constitutional movement
and security groups need to walk hand in hand for the benefit
of the lay man," said Sailendra Kumar Upadhyaya, former
Meanwhile, Jhal Nath Khanal,
leader of CPN-UML stressed the need for all political leaders
to cooperate with each other, to ensure the enduring success
of democracy restored in 1990.
"Leaders need to address
issues of discrimination based on lingual and religious aspects,"
said Member of Parliament, Jijul Biswokarma.
"The question that needs
to be addressed is whether there is space for discussion among
public and prominent leaders in our democratic system,"
said Dr. Seira Tamang, presenting her paper on 'Rethinking
Participatory Democracy in Nepal: Enlarging the Public Sphere'.
Other speakers at the programme
demonstrated the need for all people to be able to share the
fruits of democracy, emphasizing the fact that addressing
the issues of all common people was the only way of attaining
such an end.
Highlighting the importance
of education as the real key for any significant change to
occur, they also underlined the need for transparency in the
(Note: The programme
was supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung)
Source: The Himalayan Times
(June 11, 2002)
stresses ending anomalies
Janakpurdham, May 18 (RSS):
Speaker Taranath Ranabhat has said that the political parties
should remain committed and the civil society fulfil their
responsibilities to end anomalies, aberrations and terrorism
as they lead to destruction.
Speaker Ranabhat made this
remark while inaugurating the two-day seminar on "The
relevance of democratic socialism in Nepal" organised
by Martyr Memorial Academy with the cooperation of Fedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Stating that democracy was
introduced for transformation of the society, Ranabhat stressed
the need to take concrete steps to end all forms of discrimination
taking place in the society and democratic stability in the
Recalling that NC worker and
famous litterateur Diamond Shumshere J. B. Rana had set an
example of socialism by providing more than 1,000 bighas of
land to the people during the Nepali Congress general meeting
convened at Birgunj on 2012 B.S., Ranabhat urged the people
to elect persons like Daimond Shumshere during elections.
The speakers expressed the
view that speedy economic development could take place in
the country if close and friendly relations are developed
with India and China.
Member of the NC central committee
Narahari Acharya said that the Nepali Congress has failed
to fully accept the philosophy and principles of the late
B. P. Koirala.
Another member of the NC central
committee Bimalendra Nidhi said that capitalism and communism
were incomplete in itself. Both these 'isms' have helped to
bring him closer to socialism, he added.
President of the Martyrs Memorial
Academy Dhundiraj Shastri, from the chair, stressed the need
to hold discussions on principles in order to remove existing
Member of the National Planning
Commission Dr. Minendra Rijal, Dr. Yagya Prasad Adhikari,
General Secretary of the Academy Khilanath Dahal and Devraj
Dahal of Fedrich-Ebert-Stiftung threw light on various aspects
Source: The Rising Nepal
(May 19, 2002)
MP's declaration, say Dalits <Top>
May 10- Lawmakers and dalit leaders have asked the government
to consolidate the Prime Minister's declaration in the parliament
in last year's August of uplifting dalits at the earliest.
Prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had declared an eight-point
program aiming at solving the social, political, cultural
and economic troubles faced by the dalits of Nepal.
They expressed urgency of expressing
the official commitment on dalits at a program here in the
capital on the Way of Execution of Prime Minister's Declaration
about Dalit Upliftment jointly organized by Friedrich Ebert
Stiftung (FES) and ALHUREDS, an NGO working on human rights
and human resources.
"The state and the whole
administrative mechanism are biased not to work in favor of
dalits," said Deputy Chairman National Assembly Ramprit
Paswan Advocating for reservation for dalits in state opportunities
he added, "Formulation of proper policies and real execution
of them (on dalits) is the need of the hour".
Paswan who comes from a dalit
family in terai labeled the government 'irresponsible' and
morally exhausted' as it was not meeting its own vows.
has failed to consolidate the provisions of equality among
all the citizens maintained in the constitution," said
former Speaker and human rights leader Daman Nath Dhungana,
who was also a member of the constitution drafting committee
He flayed the double standard
maintained by the government in terms of dalits and demanded
for an immediate implementation of the declaration made by
the government on them. However, Dhungana opposed the concept
of reservation for dalits, women and other backward community
members in state opportunities.
Dr. Alfred Diebold, Resident
Representative of FES, hoped that once those reform initiatives
postulated in Prime Minister Deuba's declaration were consolidated,
the attempts of transformation of the Nepalese public sphere
and equalization of every Nepalese in terms of citizenship
rights and participation in development works would become
Lawmakers Bijul Kumar Bishwokarma
and Rishi Babu Pariyar also demanded for an immediate translation
of the government's declaration on uplifting dalits.
Meanwhile, Minister without
Portfolio Rishi Kesha Gautam assured that the government was
stick to implement the programs on dalits declared by the
Prime Minister. "It would be possible as the government
is assisted by all sections of the society," he said.
Minister of State for Education and Sports Narayan Prasad
Saud said that the government has installed fundamental infrastructures
for development and is committed to include the backward communities
in society into mainstream
"The so-called lopsided
cease fire by the Maoists is just a hoaxing strategy for power
accumulation on their part," added Saud saying, "They
(Maoists) can not befool the government and the political
parties for the second time in the name of peace talks".
by Dr. Diebold
policy dead failure <Top>
May 7: Participants in a two-day seminar on "Restructuring
and Privatisation in Nepal: Developing Union Strategies for
Industrial Policy" expressed the views that the privatisation
policy adopted by the government of Nepal has been a complete
The privatised enterprises
have not been able to perform well, they said speaking at
the inauguration of the international seminar organised by
General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT).
"In a developing country
like Nepal, privatisation should follow co-operatives concept
thereby enabling ownership to several peoples," said
Rajendra Raut President of Democratic Confederation of Nepalese
Trade Unions (DECONT).
The concerned officials have
not been able to deal with the restructuring versus privatisation
issue before taking any decision, he added. While privatisation
has not performed well, there are some complications with
the restructuring also, said another speaker, Dev Raj Dahal,
representing the Friederich Ebert Stiftung (FES).
international participants added that trade unions throughout
the world have been facing similar challenges brought by the
economic and political factors in the world. "How the
trade unionists come up with the ideas to face these challenges
is the major issue," said Elizabeth Cotton, the Education
Officer at International Federation of Chemical Energy and
Mine Workers (ICEM).
Mukunda Neupane, Chairman of
GEFONT chairing the session said that the government has to
restructure the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and introduce
suitable policy to trap the immense potential in the hydroelectricity.
Layla Tegmo-Reddy, Country
Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Kathmandu
and Pushkar Acharya, the General Secretary of the Nepal Trade
Union Congress (NTUC) also spoke on the occasion.
Source: The Kathmandu
Post (May 8, 2002)
contract needed to save democracy <Top>
KATHMANDU, April 21 : Leaders
of various political parties and intellectuals said here today
that a new system is needed to accelerate development endeavours
and resolve the persisting problems plaguing the country.
The leaders of the mainstream
political parties also said a "new contract" is
necessary to save the achievements of the democracy gained
after the peoples movement of 1990.
"New contract is necessary
for the effective continuation of the democracy," said
Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani, vice-president of the Rastriya
Speaking during the National
Workshop on Strengthening Decentralisation and Good Governance
in Nepal organised by the Political Science Association of
Nepal (POLSAN) in co-operation with Friedrich Ebert Stufting
(FES), Dr Lohani said the immediate change is necessary to
give outlet to the existing problems.
He also flayed the governments
formed after the restoration of democracy for virtually failing
to give power to the local governance.
Speaking on the same occasion,
former Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the ruling Nepali
Congress, Ram Chandra Poudel, said, "New system is needed
so as to have increased participation of the people in the
Poudel also said due to the
unnecessary political interference in the local governance
system, the over all governing mechanism has been imbalanced.
General Secretary of the main
opposition Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxixt-Leninist),
Madhav Kumar Nepal, said in a satirical manner, "There
has been decentralisation of corruption and irregularities
but not that of the good governance."
Once we detect defects within
the system, we can unitedly go ahead for its solution, Nepal
said. "We should be able to incorporate the marginalised
sections of the society such as nationalities, women, dalits
and the absolute poor in the development mainstream,"
Nepal also urged all the political
forces to be ready for the rights devolution. Citing example
of bad practice and evils of Bihar State of India, the UML
chief ruled out the necessity of the federal system in Nepal.
Addressing the function, chairman
of POLSAN, Bhuvan Pathak, said that the Village Development
Committees (VDCs) should not be regarded as mere "committees"
but they must be treated as "governments".
Resident Representative of
the FES, Dr Alfred Diebold, said the foreign assistance for
decentralisation and good-governance is only the backing;
but the works should be done by the local people themselves.
On the occasion, various experts
presented six working papers on decentralisation and good-governance.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, April 22, 2002.
Pundits misread me: Acharya <Top>
Kathmandu, March 14 . Encircled
by hardcore politicians, former minister and constitutionalist
Nilamber Acharya played the role of alone crusader in an interaction
programme on Wednesday, since political pundits had deliberately
misunderstood his message.
Acharya, one of the signatories of a
statement against the change in statute is, however, not entirely
against such a move. He has simply raised concerns over the
timing of it taking place during the state of emergency, when
the rights of the people have been curbed for the sake of
Mr. G.P. Koirala,
NC Chairperson and Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal, Sec.Gen.
Not only Acharya, but also
similar opinion holders such as former chief justice Bishwa
Nath Upadhyay, head of the constitution drafting team-1990,
have been branded as reactionaries by different
political entities. The nomenclature does not put them in
good light. But nonetheless, the duo has raised issues that
cannot be tackled by politicians. The constitution has
laws like the anti-defection act to prevent instability,
where the floor crossing MP is disqualified. However,
the absurd habits of politicians have resulted in 11 governments
in the past 12 years. What can a constitution do, when several
parties emerge within a single party? is one such question
This is certainly a hard reality
for the politicians to face, especially of the ruling Nepali
Civil society does not seem
to be against constitutional changes, but looking back at
track records, it is not yet a certainty that the situation
will improve even after amendment that is being sought.
Despite so many constitutional
opportunities for good governance and possibilities for an
improved situation, the intellectuals opposed to the change
are asking for a guarantee that constitutional amendments
will indeed be implemented, said Dcv Raj Dahal of Centre
for Nepal and Asian Study (CNAS).
However; he defines the constitution
as a dynamic document. A new aspiration of age evolves
as a fresh generation emerges. The constitution should be
able to reflect that or it becomes an outdated document, unmindful
of global matters and changes that have taken place.
Democracy transformed a monocentric
society into a polycentric one, dividing power into many segments,
says Dahal, But there was no proper check and balance
system, which subsequently brought the nionocentric style
of ruling elite into play. Contrary to the constitution, parties
themselves played an anti-political role.
Dahal observes the 12 years
of democracy as an era where intimacy between politics and
law never emerged. The spirit of the constitution could
not he implemented as there was no active support for it from
the politicians. Consequently, parties had no control over
their own government.
The constitution with a polycentric
nature was already there, but the appropriate behaviour on
the part of the political actors was not present. The constitution
has to he a balance between the private sector and the civil
society, opines Dahal with an example, The Nepal Development
Forum (NDF) meeting proved this, where the government could
not formulate policies by itself and sought the help of the
He is also of the view that
there is, however, an urgent need to change the electoral
procedures. We have the system of first-pass the
post, like in a horse race. In the case of Nepal, the
first-pass the post and the proportional representation
system should go hand in hand.
Despite collecting 7 per cent
of the total number of votes cast, the CPN-ML that recently
rejoined the CPN-UML, failed to win even a seat in parliament.
On the other hand, parties like Nepal Sadhhavana Party amid
Nepal Workers and Peasants Party with very few members in
the parliament are posing as national parties. According to
Dahal, this is a perfect example of artificial representation.
Power should stream up
from down in democracy, but the case here is just the
opposite. Voters from 18-30 age group are the deciding factors
in elections, but not a single member has been elected to
parliament from that group, he said, claiming that older
people are representing the young. That is ironic.
Source: The Himalayan
Times (March 15, 2002)